John McClaughry follows in his father’s footsteps

ULSTER Unionist Party councillor John McClaughry has said it’s ‘an honour’ to follow in his late father’s footsteps by becoming the new chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
The Erne North representative was appointed to the role at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s AGM [Annual General Meeting] at the Townhall in Enniskillen on Monday night.
Mr McClaughry is following in the footsteps of his father, the late Caldwell McClaughry, who served as Council chairman from 1983 to 1985 and from 1989 to 1993.
“Given the likes of my father [Caldwell ‘Collie’ McClaughry] being chairman for such an extended period, it’s a great honour for me and my family,” said Mr McClaughry, who was elected to Erne North in 2019.
“I think I’m the first of a second generation to take over the family legacy. It’s always an honour to take over as chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.”
Mr McClaughry takes over the role of Council chairman from Sinn Féin’s Thomas O’Reilly.
Also on Monday night, Sinn Féin’s Erne West councillor, Elaine Brough, was selected as vice-chairwoman of the Council. She takes over from her party colleague, Anne Marie Donnelly.
The Ulster Unionist Party councillor is hoping to make a difference, during his time in office, as chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
“We’re starting off with minus 300 jobs [after EE confirmed its closure] in Fermanagh and I feel that the [Fermanagh and Omagh] District is forgotten when it comes to these jobs,” said Mr McClaughry.
“It’s obvious we’re not getting help from anywhere else. We’re going to have to lobby hard to get well-paid jobs so people don’t have to move away from what is a lovely place to live.
“Austerity hasn’t gone away and there are people who are really suffering and it’s a matter of getting it resolved.
“The [South West Acute] hospital, health, there are so many things. While they’re not in the Council’s remit, it’s something that we can lobby hard on behalf of the people for,” he added.
A number of other appointments were also made at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s AGM.
SDLP’s Garbhan McPhillips, who was recently hospitalised after falling ill with meningitis, was selected as chairman of the Environmental Services Committee.
Stephen Donnelly from the Alliance Party was named as the Regeneration and Community Committee Chairman.
Ulster Unionist Party representative, Victor Warrington, was selected as the chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.

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